Karl asked: Looking for a programmable thermostat I can control from afar using my smartphone. And no, I don’t want to spend $200 for a machine that thinks it can predict my activities and do the programming.
You don’t need to get a learning thermostat, but don’t think you’re going to save a lot of money by getting a regular WiFi-only thermostat.
Unfortunately, Wi-Fi thermostats don’t usually go for much less than $100, and many of them go for more than that. In my home, I use — and really like — the Honeywell Talking WiFi Thermostat, though it does wake-up sometimes by just hearing the TV. Otherwise, it works well and I’m always logging-in to it to make adjustments, even when I am home.
If you want to stay on the cheaper side of things, you can look at a Honeywell programmable thermostat, they make 7-day and single program versions, and they both cost between $90 and $100. You can also try the Emerson Sensi WiFi Thermostat, it can be controlled remotely and it will display outside weather information that it can get using your internet connection, and it will cost you around $130.
There are other non-learning options, but then you will be approaching the $200 mark again, for example, the Radio Thermostat CT80 is a WiFi thermostat, but it will cost you $200, the LockState 60i is also a non-smart WiFi thermostat, but it costs $170… at that point you’re better off looking for a smart version with more features.